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Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/21/2017 12:33 PM

Hi all,

I have this steamer unit that came in as 240v 3 phases that I am trying to adapt to a 2 phase household. The unit needs 60 amp and generate 9kw.

As per the manufacturer, and the below diagrams, I need to switch the wires from figure 12 to figure 11.

I am trying to have a confirmation from experts if this actually makes sense.

Thank you

Corto

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#1

Re: IT IS POSSIBLE TO REWIRE A STEAMER UNIT FROM 240V 3 PHASES TO 240V 2 PHASES?

09/21/2017 1:13 PM

You are going to get some flack about the term "2 phase", because here in the US, that actually exists as a separate polyphase system, not "2 out of 3 phases", which we refer to as "single phase" power. I'm going to assume you are not in Philadelphia or upstate New York where we still have 2 phase systems and you are referring to single phase 240V...

Your diagram is too small to read, but if the mfr told you it's possible to reconfigure the unit, I'm sure it's OK. Most likely they are just having you reconfigure the connection pattern of the heater elements, which is likely the only part of a unit like that which would matter. That might, depending on how they have you do that, result in the unit drawing 1.732x more current on those two legs if using the same amount of power, so that would affect your protective devices and conductor sizing.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: IT IS POSSIBLE TO REWIRE A STEAMER UNIT FROM 240V 3 PHASES TO 240V 2 PHASES?

09/21/2017 1:25 PM

Tks,

I am in Chicago. Yes single phase. My understanding is that single or 2 are generically interchangeable...
Bottom line, out of my electrical panel, I have 2 main cables and not 3.
Indeed the main difference on the two diagrams is the connection pattern of the heating elements, as far I as understand.
What I am trying to determine is if I can save this unit or there is no other option than trowing it away...
tks

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#8
In reply to #2

Re: IT IS POSSIBLE TO REWIRE A STEAMER UNIT FROM 240V 3 PHASES TO 240V 2 PHASES?

09/21/2017 5:52 PM

"What I am trying to determine is if I can save this unit or there is no other option than trowing it away..."

Just do it!

If it doesn't work, then you can throw it away or donate it to charity.

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#13
In reply to #8

Re: IT IS POSSIBLE TO REWIRE A STEAMER UNIT FROM 240V 3 PHASES TO 240V 2 PHASES?

09/22/2017 9:33 AM

Third option: Have the local utility come out and actually provide a 3-phase meter loop.

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#3

Re: IT IS POSSIBLE TO REWIRE A STEAMER UNIT FROM 240V 3 PHASES TO 240V 2 PHASES?

09/21/2017 1:35 PM

I can't read the diagrams either, but 60 amps x 240 volts x 3 is more like 43 KW, not 9KW.

I'm sure the manufacturer knows a lot more about it than we do looking at little pictures.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: IT IS POSSIBLE TO REWIRE A STEAMER UNIT FROM 240V 3 PHASES TO 240V 2 PHASES?

09/21/2017 1:38 PM

9kw is what it's indicated on the unit. There are 3 heating units in it. The break required is 60A.

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#7
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Re: IT IS POSSIBLE TO REWIRE A STEAMER UNIT FROM 240V 3 PHASES TO 240V 2 PHASES?

09/21/2017 2:50 PM

USA 240 volts is really single phase with center tapped neutral. In your house, there are usually 2 120 volt circuits that are 180 degrees apart, so phase to neutral is 120 volts and phase to phase is 240 volts RMS.

You have 6 heating elements. It looks like what you have in the first diagram (3 phase) is 3 phase delta connected, with each side consisting of two heating elements connected in parallel (240 volts across each). The second diagram appears to show all elements wired in parallel across the 240 volt (phase to phase) line.

3 phase wiring:

2 phase wiring:

Caveat: I'm just looking at a fuzzy drawing that I expanded on my screen. I would suggest that you check out the wiring with an ohmmeter!

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#5

Re: Is it possible to rewire a steamer unit from 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/21/2017 2:09 PM

Yes, of course it's possible: the manufacturer's wiring diagram says so.

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: Is it possible to rewire a steamer unit from 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 5:05 AM

It may be possible, but NOT anything will work.

9kW is TOO MUCH for a household in Europe. For that power level they install you 3 phase at the input of your house. Moreover, typical household wiring is section=1.5mm2, and 10A breaker. If you just change the breakers to 60A, your house is very likely to get burned down.

I have not checked the diagrams but assuming that this is an electrical machine, I believe that it would use 1 of the 3 heating elements, for single phase instead of 3 phase. Therefore, you would get 3kW instead of 9kW, and that is likely to work with a 10A breaker.

If you want more power (43kW), get a 3 phase installation at the input of your house, or sell it to someone that could use it at full power.

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Is it possible to rewire a steamer unit from 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 8:49 AM

i believe the guy said he is in Chicago. here in the good ole USA we believe in mo' power! my house has a 200 amp service. 60 amp is a drop in ye ole electrical bucket (aka resistor). Since your heating elements are exactly that, resistors, it seems like a piece of cake.

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#6

Re: Is it possible to rewire a steamer unit from 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/21/2017 2:33 PM

It looks to me like your system is taking the applied power and converting it to power applicable to the bank of heating elements. It is my humble, not experienced opinion that based upon the OEM manual (with further telephone consultation with them if at all possible), you may choose to proceed. Make sure you adhere to all grounding instructions.

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#10

Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 6:02 AM

If throwing it away is the likely outcome - then you have little to lose by doing what Lyn says. It seems doable

The drawing is too small for me to read - but Rixter has drawn out the heater element connections. So to do a 'proper job' you need to rewire the internal bits to make it work.

To my mind, if it was me, I would do nothing except disconnect L3 phase. That way you automatically get a two phases (strictly speaking it is only one phase) - and see if it still works.

If you are unlucky and nothing works, where the phase disconnected provides power to the control circuits - then re-connect - and try L2 phase - and then L1.

You won't need lots of complicated test meters. It should be obvious which heaters are not working. The 'cold' ones can be re-connected in parallel with the 'hot' ones.

Assuming here, the internal cables are adequately sized. You need to know what you are doing - which from the basic level of your question strongly hints at the need to get an electrician to do it for you.

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#11

Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 8:46 AM

Simplify everything. Go to your local electrical supply store or qualified electrician and ask them to tell you what you need to convert your single phase into 3 phase. Take all the information you have including what service entrance you have, how many amps it is etc.. I've had it done here by my local electrician. I didn't ask what he did, but it works without changing any wiring in the machine.

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 10:48 AM

thank you. Do you mean convert the power system of the house? I would probably need to contact the power company to do that.
If you mean the unit, actually i need to switch from 3 to 1.
Tks.

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#15
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Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 10:54 AM

In some areas it is possible to get a 3 phase service, it all depends on your local grid. If you are in a residential area, you will likely pay big $ to get it.

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#16
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Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 11:19 AM

Rather than try to back convert single phase to three phase by use of some gadgetry, it would be much simpler, more efficient, and safer to have the power company, or approved electricians come out and run a three phase meter loop, then you would of course face a separate base charge on that meter plus your usage, but you would open up the wonderful world of 3 phase power in your workshop, and your steam generator would function at the best design point.

If you cannot directly get a 3-phase service at your house, then you are stuck with single phase, follow the OEM manual, and their tech support operators who will help you in setup. The last remaining option: back convert single phase (through use of a VFD most likely) to output switched three phase. This is not really an efficient option IMHO.

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#17
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Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 11:27 AM

thank you.
put 3 phase power in the house is too costly.
a VFD , rotary ect...are too costly and/or noisy in a house.
The only option is to rewire the thing...just need to understand how!

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 11:59 AM

That is what they make telephones for. Amazing inventions, really.

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#21
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Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 2:15 PM

James. Also well off topic for steamers - in another subject, according to an email notice I have just received, you a responded to a comment of mine a shortwhile ago, but on going to CR4 to read what you had to say, I get nothing but a warning there is a problem.

It would appear there is a problem for all the posts on the subject.

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#22
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Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 2:26 PM

Similarly, I found one supposedly unread CR4 email notice. I will double check.

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#23
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Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 4:07 PM

One reason for that is if the thread was deemed spam or overly rowdy and therefore deleted entirely.

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#24
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Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 4:35 PM

I think it is still up, and I expect some of us (me) were sternly warned, once again.

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#25
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Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/23/2017 5:54 AM

James: Thanks for replying. It is not just me! Apologies to every body for off-topic comments - but this thread is active so it is not CR4 locked out to me, so I can use it to ask a couple of question about the warning I get when I click the link to CR4. Fromany of the email messages notifying me of new posts to the thread in question. Each time I get the same warning.

" Problem!

You are attempting to do (or view) something that is not permitted. "

I have said nothing obviously in breach of CR4 rules - at least not that I am aware of - such as reasons Tornado hints - ...and as I suspect it is a form of political censorship, I am not giving the full name of the thread...not at the moment. but it includes "....Down A ......"

The other common factor is James comment was rated off-topic when I replied to it , and I assume mine was automatically rated as off-topic by default, as it seems an off-topic reply cannot be again rated as off-topic - (would that put it back on course ?)

I know OT posts can be hidden by reader preference (personally I like to read them).

.....but not blocked by CR4.

Just curious!

Again apologies for using this thread to discuss another thread.

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 12:14 PM

Three phase power is not normally at the street in residential neighborhoods. if you are in an area that is zoned commercial you may have that option but it is going to cost you and your electric bill will now be charged at a commercial rate which is not what you want i can assure you.

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#20
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Re: Is it Possible to Rewire a Steamer Unit From 240V 3 Phase to 240V 2 Phase?

09/22/2017 12:24 PM

Heck, I am still running my little work shed off a 100 ft. extension cord.

I keep putting off that second meter base.

It would be sweet to finish insulating the shed, get good service into said shed, and be comfortable out there when the wife kicks me to the curb periodically. Camper buddy only gets one so far in West Texas at night.

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